BJP to resist religion-based quota tooth-and-nail

via PTI published on November 19, 2006

Bangalore : Senior BJP leader L K Advani today asserted that his party would resist tooth-and-nail any move to introduce religion-based reservations.

“We will not compromise on this issue. We will not allow reservation based on religion. The BJP forewarns the government that this move will be resisted tooth-and-nail,” he said addressing a rally here.

Advani, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, alleged that Sonia Gandhi had been trying to pursue the issue of reservation for Muslims ever since she became the Congress President.

He said religion-based reservations had been termed unconstitutional by courts and cited the example of Andhra Pradesh and Aligarh Muslim University.

Advani said when the question came up before the Constituent Assembly, several members, including Jawaharlal Nehru and B R Ambedkar, had categorically stated that there should be no reservation based on religion.

“We strongly suspect that the UPA Government is going to use the Sachar Committee report to introduce — or promise to introduce — religion-based reservations for Muslims,” he said.

Noting that it was the Congress that ruled India and most states for a large part of 60 years since Independence, he said “if any party is responsible for the socio-economic backwardness of a fairly large section of the Muslim community in India, it is the Congress party.”

Advani urged leaders of the Muslim community to devote attention to providing modern, scientific and progressive education to Muslims. “Such work cannot be done by madrassas, which have their own role,” he said.


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